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Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Greens to move school bus seat belt bill as urgent after years of delay

Cate Faehrmann
WHO:        Greens MP and transport spokesperson Cate Faehrmann
WHERE:    NSW Legislative Council
WHEN:      9:45AM (approx) Thursday 21st February

Greens MP and transport spokesperson Cate Faehrmann will tomorrow attempt to bring forward debate for the Greens' bill for compulsory school bus seat belts in the NSW Parliament. Ms Faehrmann will argue that the matter is urgent and deserves the attention of the Parliament immediately given years of delays from government.

"It's time the government showed their hand on this issue. They've delayed for far too long. They have a fully costed solution before them and there is no excuse not to act right now," said Ms Faehrmann.

"We've seen so many delays now the whole thing is beyond a joke. If passed, the bill will simply see the key recommendations of the government's own School Bus Safety Advisory Committee become law, but with a five year instead of ten year phase in for compulsory seat belts on regional and rural school buses.

"There simply isn't any remaining excuses for not taking immediate action given the affordable and reasonable solution provided by the Advisory Committee and costed by Transport for NSW.

"The Greens bill is the culmination of years of hard work by parents across the state—parents who, sick with worry, for far too long have put their kids on school buses that do not have seatbelts. I have been working on this issue since late 2010, but even that is only a fraction of the time that has gone into this long-overdue reform. Some of the parents I have spoken to have been campaigning for seatbelts since their grown up kids were in primary school.

"Seat belts for school buses on regional routes is a no brainer and it should have happened a decade ago. It's time the NSW Parliament acted and the Greens are giving the government that opportunity now," said Ms Faehrmann.

Read Cate's speech from when she introduced the bill here.

A summary of the school bus safety bill can be found here.

Media contact: Peter Stahel 0433 005 727

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